You never know when you’re going to just walk into a blog post.
Mr Foodie and I are part of a Bike and Brunch group that meets on Sunday mornings. We bike around downtown Bham, typically ending up at the Continental Bakery downtown for croissants and fancy granola. This weekend, Sunday was overcast and cool-perfect riding weather. As we coasted down 19th street toward our brunch destination, we decided we preferred to take advantage of the weather and keep riding. We split a Quest bar (the horror, I know), said goodbye to our riding buddies, and headed south.
As we passed the Pizitz building, Mr Foodie said that actually, he would like some hot coffee to warm up before we continued on our ride. He mentioned Revelator, who has our favorite coffee in town, which at that point was just around the corner. I didn’t think they were open but said sure, that sounds fun, let’s just ride by. Moments later Mr Foodie was locking up our bikes, while I stepped inside.
If you’ve ever been there, you know the place is beautiful. Very modern, concrete countertops, mid-century furniture, and a large community table.
As I ordered my coffee (always the same-decaf black), I noticed my friendly and knowledgable server was munching on something and was clearly having a moment. With a smile a mile wide, and a knowing look in his eyes, he turned to me and said “Try a sample. It will change your life, seriously.” I looked down at the cut up pieces of toast and thought… Huh?
I took one and … Wow. Homemade multigrain bread topped with butter that’s somehow infused with sorghum and Revelator coffee. It is really hard to explain – basically, the best buttered toast anyone could ever eat. The bread itself seemed to melt in my mouth, and the butter on top added a creaminess and heartiness that was unlike anything I’ve had before. Truly unique.
“Do you serve brunch?” I asked quizzically. I knew they served pastries and doughnuts from local companies during the week, but that was it. “Yep,” my new friend said “toasts.” He pointed to this menu:
The sample was of the house toast, but the others looked just as good. This whole situation was quite unexpected, and was turning out just fine.
At that point, Mr Foodie walked up to the counter looking for his coffee. “Here, try this toast. It will change your life. Also, we’re having brunch toast.”
“Ok,” Mr Foodie said. “What are we having with the toast?”
“It’s the toast, see” I said, pointing to the menu. He wasn’t getting it. “We’ll have the avocado and the sweetcream and guava,” I told my new friend. Glad that’s settled.
The anticipation was ridiculous. After that life-changing house toast, it was hard to imagine what to expect. Mr Foodie and I sat at the communal table enjoying our coffee, which truly, is the best in town. Not bitter at all, totally smooth and delicious:
Let me explain what is actually going on here. A thick piece of that same amazing, chewy and yet airy multigrain bread. Topped with a layer of avocado butter (made using 15 avocados and one very lucky stick of butter), which is then topped with a thick layer of smashed avocado, radishes, greens, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.
My friends, this was no toast. This was an open faced totally inspired sandwich like I’ve never had before. Creamy, buttery, a little salty, on top of the chewy bread with a slightly crispy crust. To call this just toast would be a great injustice.
Next up, this beauty.
Homemade cranberry raisin bread is topped with a layer of Brie and sweet cream, then with homemade guava jam, then with actual pieces of coconut (not those shavings you buy next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle, but real coconut that the chef actually toasts). It was hard to understand what we were seeing; we had never seen anything quite like this before:
Isn’t she gorgeous?
This was mind-blowing. Better than the best scone, not as gluttonous as eating a stack of pancakes, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect breakfast meal. The creaminess of the cheese and cream was enhanced by the incredible guava flavor, and the coconut added a toasty crunch.
Both of these were so hearty that after polishing them off with our coffees after a 10 mile bike ride and only a half a Quest bar for breakfast each, we were beyond stuffed.
One thing that really hit all my happy foodie buttons was the simplicity. I would much rather see a place do one thing and hit it out of the park than do many things just ok. Plus, these toasts, open face sandwiches or whatever you want to call them pair perfectly with coffee drinks, so serving them makes sense in context.
Another foodie friend later pointed out that this is strongly reminiscent of the artisanal toast wave that is sweeping the nation. Some have poked fun at elevating toast to the point of being its own entree, but really, why not. Toast is awesome, that’s why so many of us eat it for breakfast. As the article above points out, if you’re willing to go to Starbucks and get a fancy scone, or order a bagel sandwich, this is really no different. And these toasts are more than enough for breakfast, a light lunch, or a hearty snack. And for $13 altogether, a bargain brunch for 2.
Note: They’re apparently served all day, every day. So grab one for Saturday or Sunday brunch, or any day of the week. And when you do, take a photo with your toast and post it here, tweet it at us, or put in on our Facebook page. We want to see it. I have a feeling this artisinal toast/open faced sandwich thing is going places.